is a term that does not have a universally accepted definition, but which has variably included all written work; writing that possesses literary merit; and language that foregrounds literariness, as opposed to ordinary language
the term derives from Latin literatura/litteratura
"writing formed with letters", although some definitions include spoken or sung texts
. Literature can be classified according to whether it is fiction
, and whether it is poetry
; it can be further distinguished according to major forms such as the novel
, short story
; and works are often categorised according to historical periods, or according to their adherence to certain aesthetic
features or expectations (genre
Literature may consist of texts based on factual information (journalistic or non-fiction), a category that may also include polemical works, biographies, and reflective essays, or it may consist of texts based on imagination (such as fiction, poetry, or drama). Literature written in poetry emphasizes the aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as sound, symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, ordinary meanings, while literature written in prose applies ordinary grammatical structure and the natural flow of speech. Literature can also be classified according to historical periods, genres, and political influences. While the concept of genre has broadened over the centuries, in general, a genre consists of artistic works that fall within a certain central theme; examples of genre include romance, mystery, crime, fantasy, erotica, and adventure, among others.
More about literature…
The Red Badge of Courage
is a war novel
by American author Stephen Crane
. Taking place during the American Civil War
, which concluded before Crane was born, the story is about a young private
of the Union Army
, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound—a "red badge of courage"—to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard-bearer
The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone. Separating itself from a traditional war narrative, Crane's story reflects the inner experience of its protagonist—a soldier fleeing from combat—rather than the external world around him. Also notable for its use of what Crane called a "psychological portrayal of fear", the novel's allegorical and symbolic qualities are often debated by critics. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. The Red Badge of Courage garnered widespread acclaim—what H. G. Wells called "an orgy of praise"—shortly after its publication, making Crane an instant celebrity at the age of twenty-four.
Honoré de Balzac
(20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus
was a sequence
of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine
, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte
. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician; he failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie humaine
reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.
Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are morally ambiguous. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Eça de Queirós, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.
||It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture—a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
—Edgar Allan Poe, "The Tell-Tale Heart"
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A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys is a children's book written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in which he rewrites myths from Greek mythology. This illustration is from his retelling of the story of King Midas, who wished for and was granted the ability to turn everything he touched with his hands into gold. In Hawthorne's retelling, among the things Midas turned to gold was his daughter.
- 1675 – William Somervile, English poet born
- 1805 – Esteban Echeverría, Argentine writer who played a significant role in the development of Argentine literature is born
- 1854 – Hans Jæger, Norwegian writer born
- 1872 – N. F. S. Grundtvig, Danish writer and philosopher died
- 1894 – Joseph Roth, Austrian novelist born
- 1917 – Cleveland Amory, American author born
- 1921 – Henry Austin Dobson, English poet died
- 1965 – Johannes Bobrowski, German writer died
- 1973 – J. R. R. Tolkien, British writer died
- 1976 – Stanisław Grochowiak, Polish writer died
- 1998 – Allen Drury, American author died
- 2000 – Curt Siodmak, German-born author died
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